Friday, June 27, 2014

Don't name me bitter...

Our #shereadstruth assignment this week feels like a natural process for me this time. 

We've been studying the book of Ruth these last 2 weeks and I have over and over again been amazed at how God reveals the parallels in different circumstance/same God kind of ways. 

You see, it's that whole, I've read this story alotsa times but God's still got something new here just for me. Probably you too.

Here's where it all connects for me. Ruth didn't have to go with Naomi. She chose to, because she was following Naomi and her God. The one true God. It wasn't the easy choice and it probably wasn't the one she was just dying to make ... but she knew somewhere deep down it was right. Then she worked hard. In the field. She got dirty. She provided for Naomi and she trusted the plan. Naomi actually resigns herself to be called bitter in light of she and Ruth's current circumstance. She can't see past the present. She doesn't know the future. Shockers. But still. Then the story changes direction (to the girls, God knew it was the right direction from the get-go!) and we've got love, marriage and the baby carriage. Seriously though, there is provision beyond both women's dreams. There is a birth of a child that gives way to the very lineage of our Savior Jesus. It doesn't get much sweeter than that...redemption in its truest form. Redemption for the women, for Boaz and then for all if us through that same blood line. 

You see, our story is no romantic love story like Ruth so I'm not thinking the two are gonna relate. Yet we've got these 2 blonde cuties that we've watched from afar. Concerned about their well being but unsure of how we could help. Actually I knew deep down exactly how we could help, but I knew that would be way hard. But when the choice game down for the Harper crew we were in agreement. Hard was the right choice for us. The Bible tells us to care for the "orphans and widows". Not to mention thinking of others as more highly than ourselves. I don't need to go on to let you know that the hard choice was the right one. We knew this. But then as we began to "work in the field" we have been like Ruth, tired and unsure if this God we are following is leading us the right way. The discipline is hard. 5 children is more than 3, it just is...shocker, right? Working these fields of paperwork, dfcs and potty training has made me weary. The need for support beyond what we are being given has made my husband question if I'd like for him to refer to me henceforth guessed it...bitter. There are days where I'm just not sure I should've "left everything" and come this way. But then I hear a sweet song being sung by a blonde head. Or a friend rescues me for an hour. I hear my oldest remind ME what the Bible says about our situation. With or without these moments, I'm ultimately reminded daily through Gods word and affirmation that I don't need to see the end to resist the "bitter" name. I can trust that this plan is His and I'm blessed to have the name of Jesus as my cover and shield. Bitter is indeed NOT my name. But satan sure would like it to be. Then God wouldn't get all the glory. 

While I can't see the end of this journey we are on I know the one who does. I also have the privilege of knowing that regardless of how the next few moments or years look...God is in control and Jesus is the end result. Ruth and Naomi knew God and their story had a joyful ending ultimately. God honored their obedience. I believe He will do the same for each of us. That doesn't mean it'll look the same or make perfect sense at the time. But in His time we will see. I'm not on the other side of this circumstance yet but I have been given fresh perspective for my lifetime. As two wise women found in following and trusting God, I will choose to just continue in that light. Anxiously awaiting how God is going to work each situation for His good. Every now and then I might need a friendly reminder though that my names not bitter.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Maybe I'm getting it all wrong.

Maybe I'm getting it all wrong. But at least I'm getting it, right? Right. Maybe. These last few months where we've added two more little blondes to our brunette banchees have been like nothing we could've prepared for or dreamed of on our own. God surely is working things out and stretching us beyond description. The statements I get most often now are:
- I couldn't do what you are doing.
- I bet things are busy at your house.
- They are so lucky to have you!
And the #1 quote from friends and strangers alike is ....
- You've got your hands full.

These things are always hard to respond to. I'm awkward in social settings after any dramatic changes/transitions so my response is usually a smile, nod or shoulder shrug. The main reason I don't know how to respond is because I know these people have no idea about the above pictured chair at my house. Or at least most of them. They don't see it, or that the chair pretty much also mirrors my brain, heart and speech! They don't hear the voice in my head taunting me, saying ..,Maybe I'm getting it all wrong...this living life, ministering to children, wiping booties, potty training, timeout enforcing and just overall run raged feeling. The truths I've been writing about are all also in the "chair". They are somewhere neatly folded in piles but somehow a bunch of unfolded undies and pj's got thrown in top. I know that God's called our family to this new season. I know He commands it in His word even. But days upon days of piled up clean laundry make me feel as though I'm taking crazy pills. I wanted to say somewhere somehow, to all those people who are doing what they know God is calling them to...maybe we are getting it all wrong, but at least we are gettin it. I know I'm guilty of only putting the right "filtered" pictures of my life out there for others to see. But the truth is no, I couldn't do what I'm doing either. Yes, things are busy at my house. I'm not sure if anyone is lucky to have me and I do indeed have my hands full. I am writing a blogpost instead of folding the laundry in the picture above and I've had to stop twice in the last paragraph to wipe someone's rear end. So, maybe ANYBODY could do what I'm doing, right? 
My point in all of this is that we've all got our chairs. (Well, almost all of us) But we've all got stuff we are trying to deal with and we are all wondering somewhere if maybe just maybe we aren't getting it quite right.
Once again, Jesus steps in and tells me I might never get it just right...if I did I wouldn't need Him in the first place would I? Would you? 
So I'm tackling that chair real soon and all these "messy clothes" in my brain...trusting that Jesus will meet me there just as He will at church or in my quiet times. Maybe even more...yep, that's getting it right. Press on friends. I'll pray for your chairs if you'll pray for mine.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Don't forget me, Lord.

This is another "She Reads Truth" challenge. So, here ya go...

Remember me for this, O my God, and do not blot out what I have so faithfully done for the house of my God and it's services.
Nehemiah 13:14

Nehemiah has been working His booty off. Doing everything in his power to get the people to worship His God. He has seen progress and He has seen ignorance and defiance. He has obeyed regardless. He has fought the fight. He has towed the line. Yet things don't just end up in a perfect ending in Chapter 13 of Nehemiah. And that is ... Ok?.? Is it?
Well, it'll have to be...because that's what we got.

All I've got right now are current circumstance. It's hard (near impossible) to get outside of them, but I do believe that's by design. As I read this end of Nehemiah I find myself relating wholeheartedly to Nehemiah. How often do we as Christians work hard to be light, to obey, to tow the line, and yet our days end in a tangled, ugly mess. In my house right now it's a daily occurrence.

To that God says, follow the plan. So I cling to God and I cry out just as Nehemiah:
Remember me with favor, O my God.
Nehemiah 14:31

Such a peace in knowing God sees, God remembers and the only thing He forgets is our sin. Ahhhh...resting there. God doesn't forget us in the times where it would appear He has...He is in control and knows that we, like Nehemiah, can learn in that place.

God's word is powerful. It is active. I am thankful.